& STATE UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL & ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS
The natural history segment of the GC&SU Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences maintains significant collections of recent and fossil vertebrates, insects, and plants.
Vertebrate Paleontology (GCVP)
GC & SUís fossil vertebrate collection is one of the largest in the Southeast. Research collections are: North American Eocene/Oligocene vertebrates (over 5,000 specimens representing forty genera of mammals, including rare taxa like marsupials and insectivores, and an extensive herpetofauna) primarily from Badlands National Park; approximately 4000 specimens of Late Eocene fossils from the Hardie Mine local fauna of central Georgia including sharks, rays, bony fishes, snakes, turtles, birds, whales, and land mammals; Plio-Pleistocene faunas from the Santa Fe River of Florida including specimens of a large terror bird; and a Pleistocene fauna from Clark Quarry near Brunswick, Georgia including mammoth, bison, horse, birds, alligator, natricine snakes, bony and cartilaginous fish, arthropods, gastropods, and bivalves.Smaller collections of Triassic vertebrates, Cretaceous reptiles, Paleocene mammals, and Eocene fish are available for study.
GC & SUís mammal collection (approximately 1,500 specimens) was developed primarily for biomechanical comparisons between fossil and recent mammals. The strength of the collection therefore, is in its skeletal holdings. Representatives of all modern orders of mammals except Paucituberculata are included. Carnivores, cetaceans, primates, and ungulates are particularly well represented. Some of the more unusual specimens include complete skeletons of: African Lion; Leopard; Stellar Sea Lion; California Sea Lion; Florida Manatee; male and female Orangutans; Chimpanzee; Rock Hyrax; Giraffe; and White Rhinoceros. The collection also includes several hundred skins and skulls used primarily for teaching.
GC & SUís reptile and amphibian collection consists of two types of holdings. The first is a teaching collection of fluid preserved specimens from Georgia (approximately 300-400 specimens). This collection is used in various vertebrate classes including Herpetology and Vertebrate Zoology. The second collection is an extensive skeletal collection (approximately 3,000 specimens) that was developed mainly for vertebrate paleontological comparative work. The strength of this collection is its taxonomic diversity. While most of the collection consists of North American taxa, representative families and genera from many other countries are also represented. The collection is extensively used in Oligocene through Holocene herpetological research.
GC & SUís bird collection has a nucleus of skins and skeletons of North American species, primarily those that can be found in Georgia. Plans are underway to increase the collection in the following areas: study skins of birds native to Georgia and skeletons of modern bird species from around the world. Skins and skeletons are studied by students interested in bird systematics, fossil birds, avian biogeography, and morphology.
GC & SUís fish collection consists of approximetely 300-400 fluid preserved specimens from all regions of Georgia
Georgia College and State Universityís Entomology Collection contains about 75,000 specimens. Practically every order of insect is represented and there is a strong teaching collection; however, the majority of specimens are aquatic Coleoptera, especially Dytiscidae. The GCSU Entomology Collection is one of the most complete in the southeast for dytiscid genera in the tribe Hydroporini, especially Heterosternuta and Neoporus with specimens from Maine to Florida and west to Arkansas. There is also an extensive collection of Dytiscidae from Southern Africa.
Extant and Fossil Plant Collections (GCB)
A herbarium is a collection of dried, pressed plant specimens arranged in a systematic fashion. Each specimen is identified and labeled. A herbarium is an essential tool to any institution with active research and teaching interests in organismal biology. The GC&SU Herbarium (GCSU) was established in 2002 and will serve as a repository for specimens collected as part of evolutionary and ecological studies conducted in the Bahamas and Georgia. Unlike many herbaria, GCSU includes collections of Cenozoic Fossil Plants. Current fossil floras being studied by students and faculty at GC&SU range from the Almont Flora (Paleocene, ND) to the Catahoula (Oligocene, TX). In 1999 Eckerd College donated their paleobotanical collection to GC&SU